Henry B. L. Webb Autograph Letter signed August 28, 1928.
Henry B. L. Webb. Autograph letter signed, August 26, 1928, to unidentified addressee, one page on one leaf. Henry Webb, during a hotel stay in France, continues negotiations with literary agents for the film rights to Mary Webb’s novels. As administrator of Mary Webb’s estate, he is bound to “take rather a long view in the interests of other beneficiaries.” He concludes by saying that if Precious Bane is the story wanted by a film company, then £500 “is definitely not nearly enough.” Mary’s mother (Alice Meredith) had died in 1924, and she had arranged in her will for almost all of her £4,000 estate to be put into a fund for Olive (her only unmarried daughter). The five other Meredith siblings were each to have a 20% reversionary interest in case of Olive’s death. Henry apparently recognized the value of Mary’s work and planned to profit from it. Henry wrote a letter to Mary’s siblings in August 1928, proposing that a deed be drawn up in which he would relinquish his rights as widower to Mary’s 20% reversionary interest in family money if the siblings would grant Henry full ownership of the copyrights to Mary’s books (Coles, The Flower of Light, 1978, p. 324).